Michel is a middle-aged, upper-class Parisian dental surgeon who has a relaxed, open-minded relationship with his wife. One day he receives a life-sized polyurethane doll from Japan, with beautiful female features, which he starts to use as a secret toy he can play with in his spare time. But the game starts to become a little more serious for Michel: he celebrates his first week with the doll by taking it to a seaside hotel run by his mother. He buys a whole set of lingerie, he performs complex fetishist rituals and he even has a fake wedding. The new relationship brings about the final break with the few connections he still had with the outside world and he focuses exclusively on his new plastic partner, whom he gives different names and treats like a real human being.
Estranged from everyone and everything, Michel’s feelings towards the doll become more and more obsessive and, blinded by jealousy, he even plants a video camera to register her infidelities with the porter. The situation reaches its highest point when the doll is kidnapped by a group of Spanish immigrants intent on raping it on Christmas Eve. This forces Michel to make a drastic decision and drive himself and the doll into the river Seine with his car. Seconds later, the doll floats to the surface while a man watches it, dazed, from a bridge.
Production: Uranus Productions France (Paris) – Jet Films, S.A. (Barcelona) – Les Productions Fox Europa (Paris) – Films 66 (Paris) – Verona Produzione (Rome).
Director: Luis García Berlanga.
Story and Screenplay: Luis García Berlanga and Rafael Azcona.
French dialogues: Jean-Claude Carrière.
Director of Photography: Alain Derobe (Eastmancolor).
Music: Maurice Jarre.
Editor: Françoise Bonnot.
Set Decorator: Sigfrido Burmann.
Costume Design: Barbara Zulavska.
Doll design and creation: Giulio Tammasy and Henri Assola, under the direction and supervision of Alexander Trauner.
Executive Producers: Alfredo Matas and Christian Ferry.
Production Managers: Juan Estelrich, José Manuel M. Herrero and Henri Jaquillard.
Assistant Directors: José María Gutiérrez, Umberto Angelucci and Christian Fuin. Continuity: Isabel Mulá. Second Cameramen: Eduardo Noé and Charles-Henri Montel. Assistant Camera: Jean-Paul Meurisse. Production Assistants: Paul Lemaire and Esteban Gutiérrez. Unit Production Manager: José Sánchez. Make-up Artist: Alfredo Tiberi. Hair Stylist: Monika Huebsch. Set Dresser: Luis Vázquez. Sound Engineers: Alberto Escobedo and Jean Duguet. Sound Mixers: Jean Duguet. Assistant Editor: Annick Menier. Secon Assistant Director: Christine Pinoteau. Administrator: Henry Kencker. Head Gaffer: Paul Cyulay. Scale Models: Bacha. Tailor: Rosa García. Foley Operator: Jean-Pierre Lelong. Wigs: Rocchetti-Carboni. Furs: Peleterías Cirilo Fernández (Madrid). Songs: “Parlez-moi d’amour” (Jean Lenoir / Éditions S.E.M.I.) and “Le beau Danube Bleu” (orchestra conducted by Janos Sandor / Éditions Hungaroton LPX 11642). Laboratory: Cinematiraje Riera (Barcelona), Madrid Films (Madrid), LTC-Saint Cloud (Paris). Soundtrack: S.I.S. La Garenne (Paris).
Michel Piccoli (Michel), Valentine Tessier (Michel’s mother), Rada Rassimov (Isabelle), Lucienne Hamon (Juliette), Michel Aumont (Henry), Amparo Soler Leal (boutique owner), Queta Claver (María Luisa), Manuel Alexandre (Natalio), Claudia Bianchi (young blonde woman), Jenny Astruc (Janine), Jean-Claude Bercq (Jacques), Marie-France Mignal (young girl’s mother), Julieta Serrano (Nicole), Agustín González (flamenco guitarist), Pedro Beltrán, Francisco Algora, Luis Ciges, José Luis Coll, Paco Beltrán and Goyo Lebrero (Spanish group), Teresa Gisbert (solanesca woman), Ángel Álvarez (Spanish father), María Luisa Ponte (Spanish mother), María Elena Flores (Spanish woman), Alberto Puig Palau (maître).
Presentada en el Festival de San Sebastián (1977).
Release Date: 26 October 1977 (Barcelona) and 16 January 1978 (Madrid).
Título en Francia: “Grandeur nature.”